A go-to Ayurveda recipe, this classic dish is one of the most popular vegetable dishes in Ayurveda and Indian cooking. Not only is it very tasty, it uses some of the main spices in Ayurvedic cooking (these spices help in the digestibility of the vegetables; see below), and all six tastes are present: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, astringent, and pungent.
6 potatoes cut in quarters (3/4 cubic inch)
1 cauliflower cut in small florets
1 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of thawed frozen peas
2 TBS oil (sunflower or coconut, or ghee)
1/4 tsp each: fenugreek seeds, brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds 1/4 tsp each powder: cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, garam masala,
1/8 tsp asafetida (hing) 3-4 curry leaves (optional) water salt to taste
1 lemon or lime
In a medium size pot, heat oil and add the seeds in the order mentioned above. When they pop, add curry leaves, if any, and hing. Add potatoes and a splash of water and stir altogether preventing the potatoes from sticking. Cover for 10 minutes in medium flame. Add the powdered spices and add the cauliflower.
Stir, add more water to prevent sticking, but always keep it below the level of the vegetables. Cover for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and peas, stir. Add salt to taste. Stir and once all veggies are soft, sprinkle lemon or lime, and serve.
Fenugreek seeds: bitter, cleansing, help in sugar metabolism and assimilation.
Black mustard seeds: help in the breakdown of sugars and fats. Decongestant for stomach and lungs.
Cumin seeds: excellent digestive. Tones stomach, aids in absorption of nutrients and elimination.
Cumin powder: main digestive spice.
Coriander powder: bitter and blood, liver and kidney cleanser.
Turmeric powder: strong antioxidant and detoxifier. Blood cleanser.
Paprika powder: adds coloring and is a mild pungent; aids in regulating digestive fire.
Hing (asafoetida): dispels gas, cleanses g.i. tract; aids in elimination.
Garam masala: a combination of coriander, cloves, cardamom, cumin, fennel; all excellent digestive toners, gas dispellers, appetite and taste enhancers.
Curry leaves: taste enhancer, aromatic, and digestive toner.
Bharata Surya is a Sivananda Yoga teacher and certified Ayurveda practitioner and counselor, Pancha Karma Specialist, Marma therapist, and vegetarian chef trained in the US, Europe, and India. For 18 years, he has maintained a private practice and led stress-reduction and pain-management programs in corporate settings. Bharata regularly teaches workshops on Ayurvedic cooking and is the lead chef and on-staff Ayurvedic practitioner at the Sivananda ashram in Grass Valley, California.
Bharata Surya is an amazing chef, ayurvedic practitioner and a Sivananda Yoga Teacher as well as one of my cooking teachers. Thank you Bharata for this great recipe, one of my favorites! Be sure to check out the Sivananda ashrams for his next course on Ayurvedic cooking!
OM Namah Sivaya